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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications

Alonso: "No hard feelings"

4 September 2010

The Spanish craving for success has not yet been stilled. They are World- and European Champions, but there is no mention of a siesta, as became clear when they beat Liechtenstein 0-4 on Friday. "We want to win more prizes, starting with Euro 2012. In football there are always new challenges," says Xabi Alonso, midfielder of Real Madrid.

In an interview with Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad Alonso says he has no hard feeling towards Holland because of the rock hard final of the World Cup in Johannesburg. "The final sadly wasn't a good one, it was a hard one. But why all the fuzz? Come on, this was about the biggest prize, then a little more is allowed and one might give a little more than 100%. It's up to the referee to set the boundaries."

British referee Harold Webb didn't really do that. In hindsight he said he should have given Nigel de Jong a red card for his kung fu-kick that struck Xabi Alonso in the chest. But the Spaniard says to hold no hard feelings against De Jong. "Nigel excused himself straight after the game. I accepted it. Forget it. The whole incident is forgiven, as far as I am concerned,"Alonso says.

"My chest hurt for a week or so, but the traces are gone, there's no footprints on my chest anymore. There's no permanent damage, not to my body and certainly not in my head."

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking

Latest

Robben: "Hard to grasp"
Van Bommel after defeat: "I'm a little speechless"
Van Marwijk: "In no mood to get negative"
Flat Dutch don't know what to do with 20+ chances
Netherlands-Denmark: lineup
Joris Mathijsen recovering well
Cruyff: "Kuyt at right back"
Mathijsen still uncertain - could miss entire tournament
Holland and Denkmark: head-to-head
Van Persie seems worth the confidence
Van Marwijk again opts for Van Persie instead of Huntelaar
Huntelaar: "Upset is not the right the word"
Ron Vlaar: "I know what I am capable of"
Van Marwijk: "We remained disciplined"
Ibi and Rafa show manager he has options
Ibrahim Afellay Oranje's Zidane?
Van Marwijk looking for certainties
Cruijff: "Not enough depth in your game is asking for trouble"
Bouma: "I've gone through the desert"
Van Persie: "Defeat at this point not a problem"
Euro 2012 finals squad
Mathijsen strains muscle
Bulgarians surprise Oranje
Ola Toivonen's goal sees Sweden beat Holland and qualify
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sinks Moldova
Oranje maintain perfection, beat Finland
Netherlands thrash San Marino in Euro 2012 qualifier
Kuyt kills off brave Hungary for Netherlands
Oranje trash Hungary
Sweden no match for Oranje
Van Marwijk: "We left them without chance"
Dirk Kuyt out for months
"We are prepared for all scenarios"
Minimal but easy win for Holland in Moldavia
Van Marwijk: "We played very well"
Holland want result after tumultuous week
Van der Vaart to replace De Jong
"This case only has losers"
Van Marwijk drops Nigel de Jong
Holland & Moldavia: head-to-head
Holland & Sweden: head-to-head
Wisgerhof replaces Maduro
Bouma back on the radar
Netherlands - Finland 2-1
Van Marwijk: "We were late all over the pitch"
Van Bommel: "There wasn't anymore in it"
Heitinga: "That can not happen"
Van der Vaart unhappy with role on the side
Kuyt and Boulahrouz out with injury
"It all revolves around Jari Litmanen"
Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"
Alonso: "No hard feelings"
Van Marwijk: "Second half was better"
San Marino-Netherlands 0-5
Oranje: a new mission
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